COVID-19 Resources & Recovery

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Overview

Many Harris County residents need help and advice dealing with COVID-19. Our local, state, and federal partners have programs in place to provide assistance with basic needs including housing, food, and healthcare. This is only a partial list of what may be available.

The best way to start any search for help is by dialing 2-1-1. The experts there can help link you to the programs that meet your needs and answer questions about resources available.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides supplements to unemployment insurance as well as direct payments to families. Details of some of these programs are not yet available and updates will be provided as soon as possible. Other benefits under the CARES Act are paid out through existing state programs such as SNAP and WIC.

Resource lists are updated as needed.

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Help for Families

American Red Cross Virtual Family Assistance Center

Click here or call 833-492-0094 for resources to help deal with the loss of a loved one from COVID-19.

Behavioral Health Resources

COVID-19 Behavioral Health Line: (833) 251-7544

Childcare

For information on childcare options in Houston and the Gulf Coast region, please visit www.findchildcarenow.org.

Domestic Violence

National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-7233, (800) 787-3224 (TTY), or text LOVEIS to 22522

Economic Impact Payments

Information on receiving Economic Impact Payments from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service

Eviction Assistance

Texas Legal Services Center has been working on the Eviction Answer Toolkit with Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid and Legal Aid of Northwest Texas. It is now live on the TexasLawHelp website.
This is a tool for self-represented litigants to use to contest an eviction.

Toolkit Description: If you get a Notice to Vacate, it's easy to file an Answer with the Justice Court. Filing an Answer lets you tell the judge in writing why you should not be evicted, requires the judge to look at the evidence before making a decision, and is required if you want to appeal the decision to County Court. Our Eviction Answer Toolkit has forms and instructions to help you.

The following documents are resources for tenants seeking eviction assistance:
Know Your Rights
Tenant Request for CARE Act

Mortgage Assistance

Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid developed the tools and information below to help homeowners trying to navigate the options available if they fall behind on a mortgage loan due to a COVID-19 related hardship. It is primarily designed for low-income Texas homeowners with an institutional loan (i.e. not owner-financed, wraparound, etc.):

Food Resources

Apply for SNAP Food Benefits: https://yourtexasbenefits.hhsc.texas.gov/programs/snap or call 2-1-1, option 

Find Student Meals: Texas Education Agency https://schoolmealfinder.hoonuit.com/?filter_state=tx

Healthcare and COVID-19 Testing

Harris County is partnering with the Federal government to provide COVID-19 testing to those experiencing symptoms or who may have been exposed to the virus. If this applies to you, please begin the process using the COVID-19: Self-Assessment Tool / (832) 927-7575 (technical access needs).

Helping Others – Volunteering

Volunteer Houston has activated their Virtual Volunteer Reception Center to help connect those with a giving spirit with agencies in need of volunteers during COVID-19.

Price Gouging and Scams

Report Local Price Gouging: https://www.harriscountycao.org/coronavirus-consumer-complaints

Report Price Gouging and Scams: Texas Attorney General, (800) 621-0508

Student Loan Assistance

Suicide Prevention

If you are having thoughts of suicide, talk to someone who cares. Dial the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255 (TALK)

Unemployment

Utility Assistance

Apply for Texas COVID-19 Electricity Relief Program – Bill Payment Assistance – Click here or call (866) 454-8387

Workplace Safety

COVID-19 Work Safe Program from the Greater Houston Partnership: https://www.houston.org/worksafe
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Help for Businesses

Apply for the Harris County Forgivable Loan Program

Harris County has partnered with the Houston-Galveston Area Council to develop and administer an economic development loan program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program aims to help businesses impacted by the pandemic by offering zero-interest, forgivable loans to meet ordinary and necessary operating expenses and obligations. To learn more and apply click here. Due to an overwhelming number of applications received, we have paused the acceptance of new applicants indefinitely. Click here if you have already submitted the application and want to check the status.

Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration has multiple programs to assist business owners and their employees weather the economic storm caused by COVID-19 SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. In addition, the Paycheck Protection Program offers loans to help business retain their employees.

The SBA Houston Office has resources and programs tailored for local business owners. Go to https://www.sba.gov/offices/district/tx/houston for more information.

SBA COVID-19 Small Business Guidance: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/

SBA Paycheck Protection Program: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp

Other Resources

Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher assembled a Small Business Resource Guide to help put bring together information on programs from multiple sources.